Sorry, Showtime fans–one of the original titans of premium pay TV is no longer its own standalone service. Parent company Paramount announced this week that Showtime will now be integrated into the premium tier of the Paramount+ streaming service. The two-for-one service will be known by the catchy title “Paramount+ with Showtime,” which was previously the name of a duo streaming bundle that included both services.
According to Variety, this changeover will happen later in 2023. In a memo to staff, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish told employees that the rebrand would help the company “leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers” as well as “driving stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings.” He further notes that international Paramount+ already includes Showtime under its umbrella.
The memo also suggests that cost-cutting measures will accompany the move, with Paramount “diverting investment” away from areas that “account for less than 10% of our views.” Variety reports that at least one completed series that was set to debut on Showtime is offered to other platforms, hoping for a new deal. As Variety notes, it’s likely that fears of a looming recession contributed to this move, with the hopes that the two merged services will lead to better operation efficiencies for the company overall.
As a whole, this is a pretty bizarre move for Paramount, considering that Showtime is one of the best-known names in the premium TV space. However, that hasn’t stopped streaming services from making weird changes in the past–remember the days of HBO Go?–so we’ll just have to accept it as is.
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